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Govt. as long-term policy facilitator

I liked this msg which came to me from the econ-dev@csn.net mailing list
(which deals with economic dev. issues). This emphasizes one critical role
of govt. which can be included somewhere in the manifesto:
"role of the state in designing policies for long-term productivity growth." 


> (Paul Romer, is a very well-known Stanford economist)
> Romer's research suggests that, while the government shouldn't get
> involved in a short-term game of picking winners among specific
> industries, state policy can influence long-term productivity and growth
> trends. As examples he cites the creation of the land-grant university
> system in the late 19th century and the establishment of computer science
> departments in the 1950s. Romer believes that we could be experiencing
> higher growth rates than we are now if we helped fuel them with more
> appropriate policies.
> "The reason new growth matters is that policy can influence that 
> long-run trend," said Romer. 
> "... I would worry about the following question," said Romer. "In 2030, 
> when they look back and say, 'You know, it's a really good thing that we 
> did "X" at the turn of the century,' what are they going say? Are they 
> going to be able to see anything similar to what we did back in the 
> 1950s?" 
> Unless something changes, Romer said, the answer would appear to be no. 
> SALON | Sept. 1, 1998 

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